Cotton Tree Lodge was founded in 2006 by Chris Crowell and Jeff Pzena. Chris had previously “discovered” Belize while traveling through Mexico and Guatemala. In his travels he noticed a unique quality that made this little country somehow different than the rest of Central America.
Later he returned with his sailboat looking for something he could do that would make a difference in the world. He found what he was looking for while traveling up the Moho River-a beautiful farm nestled on the bank of the slow moving river beneath a towering Cotton Tree. Not only was his breath taken away, he had a dream of sharing the magic and mystique of Belize with others. He saw a chance to create an atmosphere where people could appreciate other cultures and learn something about their own spirit. A dream of impacting lives… of exploring new terrain… of creating stories for a lifetime.
After three years of formulating ideas with his longtime friend and business partner Jeff Pzena they formed Cotton Tree Lodge. It took them another three years until they opened the doors in December 2006. In August of 2019 Cotton Tree Lodge was sold to Kasey and Adam Van Tassell and their family.
Chris now resides in Mankato Minnesota with his wife Kristin (they met at Cotton Tree Lodge). Jeff and his wife, Tanya, live in New York City. Jeff has now turned all his attention to Cotton Tree Chocolate and is the owner of the Cotton Tree Chocolate factory in Punta Gorda as well as the Moho Chocolate Company.
One of the major reasons the Van Tassell family purchased Cotton Tree Lodge was to give them more opportunities for humanitarian work. They love Belize and the Belizean people. Living in Belize provided numerous opportunities to meet people struggling or someone help someone simply in need. If you want to read more about some of these efforts please visit our humanitarian page in the about us tab.
Adam and Kasey sold Cotton Tree Lodge to Andy and Kari Davis in January 2022.